Lee Dorman, 70, a bass guitarist for the psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly, who played on one of the genre's most recognizable songs, "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida," died Friday in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Mr. Dorman was found dead in his car outside his home, said Gail Krause, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. A coroner ruled the death was of natural causes, Krause said. Mr. Dorman had heart problems and was on a transplant list, Martin Gerschwitz, one of the current members of Iron Butterfly, said in an interview.
Iron Butterfly, a four-man group originating in San Diego, signed its first record contract with Atco in 1967, according to the band's website. "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida," with its thumping bass riff, was released in July 1968. It stayed on the national sales charts for two years and became a Top 40 radio hit.
"He developed this style," Gerschwitz said, "where the bass did not just function as a bass; it was an equal instrument with the others." He added that Mr. Dorman was fond of noting that in 1968, Led Zeppelin opened for Iron Butterfly.
Mr. Dorman founded another band, Captain Beyond, in the 1970s. He toured with Iron Butterfly until recently. The band has replaced a number of musicians over the decades.